A New Project, And A Special Treat

I have some news on upcoming releases, new projects, some interesting stuff from around the web that you may have missed, as well as a special surprise for my blog-readers.

The Never-Ending Blog Tour

The first gig on The Never-Ending Blog Tour is live right now. Declan Conner is a short story writer who provides excellent advice, interviews, and essays on his blog.

There is a wealth of information there, and you should especially check out the conversations he had with bestseller J. Carson Black – very enlightening.

A special section of his blog devoted to the art of the short story and the business of selling them where he shares his own experience as well as that of a bunch of other writers.

He asked me to write a piece on where I get my ideas from. It’s here (scroll down about two-thirds), and I hope you enjoy it. When you’re done reading, have a good nose around his site – lots of good stuff there, and thank you to Declan for hosting me.

Transfection

My next short story is nearing release. I hope to have it up on sale by the start of next week. As always, I will give you guys a sneak preview of the cover and blurb, and let you know as soon as it goes live.

My last story If You Go Into The Woods, cracked the Kindle Top 40 Short Stories on its first day, and hung around in the Top 100 for a week (and is still in and out of the charts in the UK).

Transfection is a longer story – 5,500 words – and I think it’s a better one.

It’s a more popular genre too, a technothriller with some old-school sci-fi undertones, and I have high hopes. Let’s see if we can go one better this time.

Plus, there might even be another competition/giveaway, but only if I can come up with something that’s as much fun as the last one. That was a blast!

Indie Publishing For International Writers

We have covered a lot in my continuing guide to self-publishing, and there are only a few episodes left. There will be a piece on pricing – how much to charge for your work, how to maximise readers and profits, and how to find your best price, depending on your goals.

I will also cover the practicalities such as tax, whether to set up a company, ISBNs, and copyright. I have been avoiding that one; it’s hard to make sexy.

I plan to finish things off with something called What Happens When The Sales Just Stop, which will provide some extra promotional tips and tricks to resuscitate your flailing figures.

And then that’s it. If there is anything I haven’t covered, or anything I did that you would like more detail on, or another run-through, now is the time to speak. Why? I hear you say.

Because, I have a treat for you.

Let’s Get Digital, Digital

From the start, I planned to compile all these posts on how to self-publish professionally, as well as all the main articles on the changes in the publishing industry and the Digital Revolution into some kind of e-book.

I have been chatting with my editor about the best way to compile all the information on this blog, as well as lots more that I haven’t posted. I have about 60,000 words in raw form, but a lot of that needs to be cut, and some needs to be expanded.

There are also limits to what you can do with non-fiction as in an e-book, not least in terms of layout and breaking up the text, and I have a lot to figure out. But at some point this summer, it will be done.

The working title is Let’s Get Digital, Digital and I’m sure that, in the long tradition of non-fiction titles, there will be some wordy subtitle to suffocate the impact of its snappiness.

I plan to put this on sale on Amazon (and the rest) for $2.99. But, as a special treat to my blog-readers, I will also be giving it away as a free PDF, right here.

That sound fair?

Other Stuff You May Have Missed

Kristine Rusch has been tracking a lot of disturbing developments in underreported e-books sales affecting writers’ royalties, and egregious additions to publishing and agency contracts.

Today she argues that because traditional publishing has lost its monopoly on distribution, it’s now reacting in ways that are harming writers like rights grabs, unfair contracts, and dangerous agent/publisher hybrids. Read her article here.

***

The good people at Wicked & Tricksy have been blogging up a storm in their opening ten days or so getting a serious back-and-forth going in the comments, which is always a good sign.

If you are in any way interested in speculative fiction or the craft of writing, check it out. It’s great to have a blog with four different voices and four different perspective, especially when they can all write so well.

***

Go the F*ck to Sleep – an adult’s illustrated bedtime story – has stormed to the top of the Amazon charts, selling 100,000 copies before it has even gone on sale.

A huge factor in its success has been the distribution of a free PDF of the book all over the internet that went viral. Remember my articles on piracy here and here? Still disagree?

 ***

A lot of writers dream of having their book optioned for a movie. Editors dream about it too because it can increase sales by a factor of ten. This is a nice piece with tips on working with Hollywood (check out the links too).

 ***

But for those who dream not just of their novel getting optioned for a movie, but to actually write the script themselves, you have to read this next piece from last year.

It’s written by successful screenwriter William Martell and is a cautionary, eye-opening tale for those who don’t know how movies are actually made and where writers are in the Hollywood food chain.

It’s the story of how one of the hottest scripts in town was turned into an unrecognisable, underwhelming movie. Read it all.

That’s all folks. I’m being dragged out of my writing grotto to visit an art exhibition, so I must be shaved and hosed down before I’m allowed out in public. If you are a new to the blog, your comment won’t appear until I approve it (but don’t worry, it will be done later).

Regulars, fire away.

About David Gaughran

David Gaughran is Irish, living in Prague, and the author of Mercenary, A Storm Hits Valparaiso, Let's Get Digital, Let's Get Visible, and this here blog.
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17 Responses to A New Project, And A Special Treat

  1. josephinewade says:

    Wow, lots of good information here. I’m going to have lots to read over the course of the day.

    I’ve determined that I think you must be a vampire because I don’t think you could possibly sleep and get done all you do : ) . Of course, given the time difference, I think half of your day is gone right when I’m beginning mine. But I still think you must sleep very little.

    I’m looking forward to your upcoming short story release.

  2. JB Toner says:

    A book on ePublishing is a great idea. For me, the best chapter was that last one – on reviews – very well thought out and full of common sense.

    I’m still trying to figure out how you can get your stuff out so quickly, and, as Josephine says, where you get your energy from.

    PS How does a blog tour work? Is it like pass the parcel – like a chain – or do you control it all from the centre?

    • Thanks JB.

      I guess it’s quicker with short stories. And maybe this idea was percolating for a while without me even knowing it. My brain does that to me sometimes.

      Re. blog tours. Basically, when you go and do a post for a day on someone’s site that’s called a guest blog. You’re the guest blogger, and the guy whose blog it is is the host. When you do a blog tour, that’s when you have a bunch of guest blog spots all lined up in quick succession. Some people like to do it where they guest blog on 5 or 10 blogs in one week – usually the week after they release – so they can hit a wider audience who will hopefully be interested in what you say and check out your books.

      You can host one, or you can go on one. You can pay someone to organise all this for you (and get you spots on popular blogs), or you can be a blog host and receive something in return for that.

      Or you can go independent and just arrange it separately yourself – sometimes as a quid pro quo, sometimes not.

      Some blog owners need lots and lots of notice to line you up for a guest spot, so if you want to go for the “max blitz” effect, it requires a lot of advance planning.

      Planning was never my forte, so I just decided to freewheel it. And besides, while blitzing for the week and getting high in the charts is good, it’s also good to spread your publicity out too. Both have benefits.

      In short, you can do whatever you want, but paying for it isn’t cheap, and I decided to avoid that. If I get to the point where my time is worth more than the cost of a blog tour, I won’t mind paying at all. But that day is neither today not tomorrow.

    • I should also say that part of the logic is that it works for both parties. The blog host will get new viewers who might stick around, and the blog guest might bring some people back to their place to check out what’s going on there. It’s exposing one person’s audience to another’s and vice versa. Readers like it too, they get another perspective and another story.

  3. JB Toner says:

    PPS I don’t get the title: Let’s Get Digital, Digital. Why repeat that word? I don’t get it.

  4. Thanks so much for the shout-out for Wicked & Tricksy. And feel free to come guest on my personal blog if you’d like, especially(!) when you’re ready to release Let’s Get Digital, Digital. I have several people following me because they want to self-pub and are watching to see what my experience will be and several more who are curious but not really ready to step away from traditional publishing yet.

  5. Claudie A. says:

    Oh, I can’t wait for the new short story. “Transfection” + “techno thriller with old school sci-fi undertone” immediately brought me to genetic engineer, which is right down my alley. And even if I’m wrong, well, I loved If You Go Into the Woods, and see no reason not to pick up the next.😉

    Also, Margo beat me to it, but thanks for the Wicked & Tricksy call!

    • And your prize for your correct guess is a sneak preview of an early draft of the blurb. It needs a bit of work to make it pop, but you will get the idea:

      TRANSFECTION:

      A scientist is on the run, but he doesn’t know who wants him dead… or why.

      Molecular biologist Dr. Carl Peters is under pressure on two fronts: his research grants are disappearing and his marriage is falling apart. But when medical researchers discover that genetically modified animal feed has tainted the food chain, he finally gets the funding he always dreamed of.

      Shares in GM food companies plummet. Steakhouses and burger joints close all over the city. Vegetarianism is on the rise as the nation goes organic. Dr. Peters thinks he has found the reason behind the cancer link with GM food, but it’s so crazy, he barely believes it himself.

      Transfection is a 6,000 word, 25 page technothriller, starring a molecular biologist who makes a discovery that shocks the world, only to find his life under threat. His story takes in militant vegans, corruption, homelessness, university politics, genetically-modified food, radiation, the celebrity-obsessed media, and a shadowy conspiracy.

      Transfection is a brand-new story, exclusively available as an e-book.

  6. Tony Slater says:

    Hey Dave!
    I think the Never-Ending Blog Tour is a great concept that could be worthy of an article in it’s own right. I know of an email and teleseminar course which is largely concerned with how to contact owners of popular blogs and emailing lists, how to negotiate with them and how to pitch your work for them. The basic premise is to promote yourself on these blogs with their owners permission. Sounds exactly like your blog tour, right? Well this course costs A LOT of cash (over US$2,000) and I nearly bought it a while back. Probably would have, if I had the cash! So I reckon plenty of your readers would be interested in your methods and/or progress, how you find and choose the blogs, what you say to the owners to convince them it’s a good idea, and what you write about to avoid people following you from blog to blog reading the same piece over and over!
    Just a thought.
    Cheers!
    Tony

    • Good idea Tony, I might just do that.

      Re that course. I always convert these kind of things into how many books I would have to sell. Let’s say you are pricing your book at $2.99. That means you would have to sell 1,000 books as a direct result of that course to cover your costs. I’m skeptical.

      I did the same thing with a lot of the blog tours. I just wasn’t sure they could bring me extra readers that I couldn’t get myself that would justify the cost.

      There are so many things you can do for free, I recommend exhausting them first – and yes, I will talk more about that soon.

      Dave

  7. Pingback: Publishers Skinning Authors, Eisler & Konrath, and The Never-Ending Blog Tour | David Gaughran

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